A Judgment for Solomon: The d’Hauteville Case and Legal by Michael Grossberg

By Michael Grossberg

A Judgment for Solomon tells the tale of the d'Hauteville case, a debatable baby custody conflict fought in 1840. It makes use of the tale of 1 couple's sour struggle over their son to discover a few timebound and undying positive factors of yank felony tradition. This eagerly trial sparked a countrywide debate over the criminal rights and tasks of mum and dad, husbands and better halves. The d'Hauteville case explains why well known trials turn into "precedents of felony experience"-- mediums for debates approximately hugely contested social concerns. It additionally demonstrates the facility of person men and women to give a contribution to criminal switch through turning to the legislation to struggle for what they need.

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Extra resources for A Judgment for Solomon: The d’Hauteville Case and Legal Experience in Antebellum America

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They realized that their efforts at reaching an informal understanding and their threats had failed. They worried about what Gonzalve would do next. What he did was retain a local lawyer, Peleg Sprague. The decision displayed the Swiss visitor's growing reliance on the law. Law had become an appealing way to defend his claims and a seemingly unavoidable response to the threats lodged against him. He found a suitable champion in Sprague, a leading Boston attorney who had graduated from Harvard College and attended Litchfield Law School, the premier private legal academy of its day.

It laid out her conditions for returning to him. " Broken promises and mistreatment by Gonzalve and his family had made her hate Gonzalve's ancestral home. They forced her to assert a right of self-determination. She made her intentions quite clear: "I do not feel it is my duty to return, when I could neither promote your pleasures, or find life supportable. I have made many sacrifices for you, and in return I looked for kindness, sympathy, and protec- Entering the Law's Shadow 23 tion from every sorrow and trouble which you could avert.

It would do so in the d'Hauteville case. As Ellen's advocate, David contended, incorrectly as he and his daughter soon learned, that mental as well as physical cruelty justified a marital separation under American domestic relations law: "I know not what would constitute ill-treatment in Switzerland. Perhaps there the severity of manners may require a corporeal infliction as the proof. But here it is different; and, with us, that moral tyranny which strikes its blows upon the mind, until it totters, is thought fully equivalent to all that the body can be brought to suffer.

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